The discovery of an under-construction ‘mini-city‘ right opposite a mosque and in proximity to Kashi Vishwanath Temple of Varanasi, has sent tremors through the security apparatus. The complex was being dug since the last two years around the Langda Hafiz mosque in Dalmandi area of Varanasi.
The complex was discovered by the area SSP R.K. Bhardwaj while he out on foot patrol with his team for routine check up of the anti-encroachment drive going on in the area. While inspecting an ongoing construction in the basement of an old house in the area, he discovered the illegal underground complex stretching far and wide – roughly 5,000 square meters (40 biswas),
According to police, SSP Bhardwaj was on foot patrol late on Tuesday night with his team when he noticed light coming from a ventilator under an old ‘katra’ (lane of shops) in Dalmandi. “When I looked through the ventilator, I saw a labourer busy in construction work. When I enquired about the entry, he guided me to cover a long distance and reach near Beniabagh Park to enter the basement where he was working. On entering the basement, I was surprised to see the huge secret underground structure,” the SSP told TOI on Wednesday.
Below is a map of Langda Hafiz mosque and its adjacent area. Incidentally, Varanasi is considered one of the most holiest Hindu cities and is a major Hindu pilgrimage centre, and also has over 1000 mosques –
This is being considered a grave failure of development authorities, municipal corporation and the police as the complex was barely 50 metres from the highly sensitive “yellow zone” (outer security cordon) of the temple complex and could have been used by terrorists for an attack on the KVT complex. Being one of the holiest shrines of Hindus, Kashi Vishwanath has always been on the radar of terrorists.
SSP R.K. Bhardwaj told that the situation is really dangerous. The authorities had no idea that secretly a whole complex is being built on such a large scale in the area of Dalmandi. Officials of VDA and Municipal Corporation have been informed about the situation. The police will take action on it’s level.
While English news outlets like TOI have reported the incident, they have omitted mentioning the digging around Langda Hafiz mosque in their report.
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